The Emerging Researchers Programme

The Emerging Researchers Programme (ERP) is an intensive course in critical, ethical and collaborative theory, methodology and practise, which is divided into two parts.

The programme is designed for students with a strong interest in social justice issues (particularly those directly posed or exacerbated by climate change), critical theory, and who intend to continue to postgraduate education and/or enter into research/policy-oriented careers after graduation.

Given the current circumstances, the programme will be taught via dual delivery, not requiring students to be in St Andrews. (Max.) five spaces will be available for the 2022 cohort. 

Part 1: Critical Theory, Methodology, and Practice Course

The Critical Theory, Methodology, and Practice (CTMP) Course extends over the second semester of 3rd year, on top of the student’s chosen modules. There are up to five places available on the course, which will consist of eight small and intensive tutorials with TGP-affiliated staff and other academics across the spectrum of social sciences at the University of St Andrews, each session lasting 1.5 hours long. Drawing  from  both non-Western  and  Western  methodological  frames,  and  with  a  focus upon ‘decolonising knowledge’, the workshop will provide students with a grounding in critical, participatory and anti-oppressive  research  methodologies  that  question  and  politicize  research processes  such  as  ‘fieldwork’  and ‘data analysis’, foreground the subjectivity of the researcher as a salient factor in research design, and engage in a progressive struggle to advance social justice aims.

Learning goals include:

  • Evaluate individual pieces of research in light of their epistemological and ontological assumptions
  • Identify and assess the contributions critical, participatory and anti-oppressive methodologies make to social research
  • Outline and demonstrate critical awareness of the ways in which critical and anti-oppressive research methodologies contribute to collective emancipatory goals
  • Apply  key  elements  of  critical  and  anti-oppressive  research  methodologies  to  develop  your  own approach to critical research.

Students will then be given fieldwork simulations whereby they will conduct qualitative or quantitative method around a given research question. The final portion is a 4,000 word a literature review in preparation for their research projects, due at the end of the semester. Students will have to prepare for a 15-minute round-table discussion of their paper at the end of the programme.

Examples from the reading list include: 

  • Brown, Lesli and Susan Strega, (ed.), Research As Resistance: Critical, Indigenous, and Anti-Oppressive Approaches. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press/Women’s Press, 2005.
  • Datta, R, Khyang, UN, Khyang, HKP, Kheyang, HAP, Khyang, MC, Chapola, J (2015) Participatory action research and researcher’s responsibilities: An experience with Indigenous community. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 18(6): 581–599.
  • hooks, bell, Teaching to Transgress, Routledge, 1994.
  • Moje, EB., ‘Changing our minds, changing our bodies: Power as embodied in research relations. Qualitative Studies in Education 13(1), 2000,15–42.
  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai, Decolonizing Methodologies, Zed Books, 2012.

Part 2: Research Project

During the first semester of 4th year, ER’s will undertake a research project on a topic of their choice that falls under TGP’s remit of ‘Education for Climate Justice’. ER’s will be expected to tailor the language of this project for a non-academic audience. Projects will be supervised by TGP staff. At the end of the semester, the research will be adapted to create a policy resource. This will be accompanied by a presentation to staff and postgraduates within the School of IR.

Student Testimonials

Click below to read our Emerging Researchers 2019 reflections’ on the programme in full. Also to be found on our Facebook page @thirdgenproject in the ‘notes’ section.

Emerging Researchers Network